I'm blogging here from the Collingwood Conference, and so far I've sat in on a number of interesting sessions, in particular one about clean water technology and how Ontario must be a global leader in green tech and creating green jobs. All this innovative talk of creating a 21st century green knowledge economy got me thinking about comparing the stands of the Liberals and the PC's on environmental issues. Let's take a look:
-Passed the Green Energy Act, a globally recognized move that will help creating 50,000 new green jobs in Ontario.
-Will bring in the Water Opportunities Act, which will build on the great private investment companies have made in clean water technologies in Ontario. The Conference Board of Canada estimates the global market for water technology at more than $400 billion US dollars per year and doubling every five to six years, and Ontario companies are already employing 22,000 people in good, high-paying Ontario jobs selling water technology around the world. We need to keep building on this.
-As part of Ontario's Clean Technology Mission to India late last year, McGuinty ensured Ontario green tech firms got deals worth over $250 million, expanding Ontario's green tech sector into one the world's fastest growing and most important markets.
-Don't believe provincial government's have a role in fighting climate change at all. PC environment critic Toby Barrett has said that efforts to adapt our economy and create jobs belong"in an international forum", absolving provincial governments of responsibility and opportunities.
-Barrett and the PC's have fought tooth and nail against the eventual closure of coal fired plants in favour of cleaner energy sources. The healthcare costs due to dirty air generated by these plants in estimated to be $4 billion annually.
-Barrett said that Ontario taking action to create green jobs and fight climate change were "provincial tinkering".
-PC frontbencher and endorser of Tim Hudak's leadership Randy Hillier told environmental activists to "stop breathing" in response to criticism.
-Hillier has openly denied climate change: http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/features/ontariovotes2007/story.html?id=71f3e23a-f116-47bb-a876-2fb8532e433a&k=20655
"Randy Hillier...isn't shy about casting doubt on the prevailing scientific theory about global warming...Mr. Hillier made the comments while arguing in favour of keeping Ontario's coal-burning power plants open...As to the greenhouse gases, don't worry about them, Mr. Hillier said"
-The Ontario Landowners association's (of which Hillier used to be the president, and which has declared plans to attempt to win PC nominations in ridings across Ontario for the next election) Glengarry branch sponsored a screening of the trash climate change denial "documentary" The Great Global Warming Swindle in August 2008.
-The Unanimous Declaration of independent Landowners Associations on the 25th day of February, 2006 makes explicit reference to "false environmentalism".
Who do you trust to create 21st century jobs?